I have to confess our interest in this album was piqued by a very favourable review in this month’s Uncut magazine, which, by pure coincidence, was followed by us getting a copy of the record in our in-box via Reviewshine.
Although he has been around a good while and had songs covered by such luminaries as Levon Helm and Irma Thomas, this is his first new release for seven years. Gloryland is a rugged record where Gordon’s deep, gravelly growl feels very much at home amongst the tales of faith and hope, and of heroes and villains.
The album’s centrepiece, and undoubted highlight, is the ten minute story of his experience as a youngster in a marching band. Colfax/Step In Time tells the first-person tale of his black music teacher facing down the KKK while leading the band at a football game in Colfax, Louisiana. Lyrically poetic and hypnotic, the spare, down-to-earth storytelling gives the song a chilling authenticity and resonance as it builds to a gospel style climax with backing vocals and horns.
While it is hard to shake the echoes of the song from your head, there are other highlights on the album too, not least the coming-of-age blues of Bus To Shreveport, the Hold Steady like rocker One I Love and the swampy, southern rock grooves of the title track.
The album is released on 14th February. Pre-order from his website here.
Watch the video for Colfax/Step In Time and download Gloryland below.
Download Kevin Gordon – Gloryland mp3 (from Gloryland)Follow @madmackerel